12 January 2020
Kent-based Crees fulfilled his lifelong dream of making the BTCC grid last season after a meteoric rise up through the ranks from karting and into the UK’s premier motorsport series in only his third year of competitive racing.
Taking two Championship titles in his first two seasons of competition in the Ginetta Racing Drivers’ Club and Michelin Ginetta GT4 Supercup, where he notched up an incredible eleven class victories and eight further podium finishes, the 36-year-old’s story has been nothing short of remarkable.
Crees’ arrival on the BTCC grid last year was met with huge interest, with the ‘Creesy’ name gathering a loyal and ever-increasing fan following. An impressive debut race at his home-circuit, Brands Hatch in the season opener netted the Broadstairs-racer a top 12 finish on the Indy layout and opened up his point-scoring tally.
“I couldn’t believe I was even on the BTCC grid last year to be fair! It was a dream come true. My goal all along was to finish the year as the top rookie, and I achieved that."
Following up with a best-ever 9th place finish in race 3 at Silverstone later in the season, Crees surpassed any expectations he had coming into the series, ending the year as the highest-placed rookie driver from the seven newcomers to the BTCC grid.
Having worked hard over the winter to secure the necessary sponsorship, Crees joins experienced, multi-race winning drivers Josh Cook and Tom Chilton as part of the BTC Racing Team line-up in the squad’s third Honda Civic Type R FK8.
“Getting P12 in my first ever BTCC race was incredible, and then following up with a P9 at Silverstone and making it into the top 10 in my first year of touring car racing was really special.
“I’ve been working non-stop to secure a strong budget to be able to secure a deal this year. A week ago it didn’t look like I’d even have a drive. To go from no seat at all, to signing for a front-running team in only my 4th season of racing is amazing.
“I still have a huge amount to learn and to develop my race-craft. Steve [Dudman] and Bert [Taylor] have taken a calculated risk on me, and we’re going to make it work. Last year was a great stepping stone, but coming into the FK8 is going to be a hell of a drive. I’m not going to put myself under too much pressure. Josh [Cook] and Tom [Chilton] are seasoned pros. I rate Josh highly and Tom is a fantastic driver who’s been around for a long time. I’m just going to be like a sponge and take in as much as I possibly can from them both.”
Joint team Principal Bert Taylor added; “I think this is an exciting signing for BTC Racing. Michael joining us completes what I believe is a very strong line-up for 2020.
“It’s a great opportunity to give a rookie driver the chance to come and learn his craft in a top-flight team and car. Although he’s relatively new to the grid, he brings great energy to the team and willingness to improve. He should learn a lot from Josh and Tom and will benefit greatly from working with them. I feel sure that the three of them will work well together and we can look forward to lots of success as a team.”